Colt Coeur & WP Theater Announce 5th Annual Parity Plays; Feb 1-9
Posted by: Official_Press_Release 05:35 pm EST 01/10/19

COLT COEUR in partnership with WP THEATER present



Colt Coeur and WP Theater announce the programming for the annual Parity Plays Festival reading series, which celebrates the work of female and trans playwrights and directors. The festival will consist of four plays by Kate Cortesi, Obehi Janice, Lily Padilla, and WP Lab alum Sylvia Khoury. Parity Plays will take place from February 1-9, 2019 at HERE Arts Center, 145 6th Avenue. Tickets are free, and can be reserved at: https://wptheater.org/show/parity-plays-festival/

The festival was founded by Colt Coeur in 2014, inspired by advocacy groups like #MakeItFair, The Kilroys, and The Lilly Awards. WP Theater and Colt Coeur are committed to the promotion of gender parity in programming, staffing, and representation within theatrical narratives. This is the second year WP & Colt Coeur have teamed up for this initiative. Below are the four plays that will be presented:



Five former employees. One great love. Thorny, uncomfortable, funny and surprising (and... sexy?) Love asks what accountability looks like when an abuser of power is one of our favorite men of all time and dares us to get to the other side of accountability and hashtags together.



A young Black female coder wrestles with love, identity and the tension between striving and thriving as she tries to get her startup off the ground. How can you fully be yourself in spaces where no one can see all the sides of you?




A diverse support group for sex and love addicts meets weekly to “heal in community.” Every Monday at group, they breathe in, breathe out, and try to love in a world that’s taught them hate – especially the kind turned inward. But is communal healing possible when each person carries different wounds, legacies and privileges?




Late at night in a Texas immigration detention center, three Guatemalan mothers keep watchful eyes on their sleeping children. Tomorrow, they must face the immigration judges, who will grant or deny them asylum in America. In The Place Women Go, these mothers quietly rehearse the stories of their trauma to make them palatable and convincing, while encountering new, daily traumas within the detention center itself.

In addition to their work together on the 5th annual Festival, Colt Coeur and WP Theater are also thrilled to partner this spring on the world premiere of Rehana Lew Mirza’s HATEFUCK, a selection from the 2017-8 Parity Plays Festival & The Kilroys List. The play will run at WP Theater (2162 Broadway) from March 3-March 31, 2019.






KATE CORTESI is a Brooklyn and Boston-based playwright from Washington, D.C. Her plays include One More Less (2017 Relentless Award Finalist, 2017 O'Neill Conference Finalist, 2016 NYFA-award-winning submission, Playwrights Horizons New Works Lab directed by Robert O'Hara), A Patron of the Arts (2018 Cherry Lane Theatre Mentor Project, mentored by Anne Washburn, directed by Mike Donahue; South Coast Rep 2016 New SCRipts Series; 2018 BAPF finalist), Great Kills (2014-2015 Princess Grace Award-winning submission, 2016 Kilroy's List, Premiere Stages 2015 New Play Festival), Is Edward Snowden Single? (2019 Kanas City Rep, 2018 Dorset Theatre Festival, 2017 Colt Coeur Play Hotel), and, her latest project, LOVE, her take on our #metoo moment. Her work has been developed or produced at Playwrights Horizons, Cherry Lane Theatre, South Coast Rep, Colt Coeur, Primary Stages, Dorset Theatre Festival, Ensemble Studio Theatre, terraNOVA Collective, The Lark, New Dramatists, the Edinburgh Fringe Festival, and Premiere Stages. Kate is a proud resident playwright at New Dramatists (2016-2023) and Colt Coeur former playwright in residence and current company member. A short film she wrote and directed, LAZARUS, screened at film festivals around the country. She teaches writing at NYU’s Tisch School of the Arts, Riker’s Island, and lots of places in between. Katecortesi.com

JENNA WORSHAM Stage Director, Activist. 2019 National Directing Fellow at the O’Neill Theater Center. Off Broadway/Regional: Agnes (NY Times Critics’ Pick, 59E59 Theaters); Belleville (Pasadena Playhouse); Dear (MCC, Playlabs); Blue Ridge (Williamstown, Boris Sagal/Drama League Fellowship); The Siblings Play (Cherry Lane); Street Children (NY Times Critics’ Pick); Gun Country (A.R.T/NY); The First Immigrant by Martyna Majok (Williamstown); Invincible Ones (Signature Center); Have You Been There (Rattlestick); Here to Be Seen (Commissioned by the Brooklyn DA); The Vagina Monologues for Taconic Correctional Facility and the Women’s Prison Association. Jenna has developed new work at MCC, Playwrights Horizons, The Public, Labyrinth, A.C.T., Primary Stages, MTC, EST/Youngblood, among others. She is the recipient of a Jonathan Alper Award (MTC) and two SDCF Observerships. Jenna is the Co-Founder of Creative Solutions at SPACE on Ryder Farm, and a proud member of The Actors Studio Directors Unit, the Lincoln Center Theater Directors Lab, and an Affiliated Artist of New Georges.

OBEHI JANICE is an award-winning writer, actress and comedian whose multi-genre work spans from stage to screen. She is a member of the 2018-19 Emerging Writers Group at The Public Theater, a Luminary Artist at the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum and a past recipient of a TCG Fox Foundation Resident Actor Fellowship as well as a Creative Residency at SPACE on Ryder Farm. Her plays include Ole White Sugah Daddy, Era Era, Selah, African Tea, along with one-woman shows FUFU & OREOS and Obehi Janice: Casanova. An alum of Georgetown University, Obehi's work has been featured in American Theatre Magazine, NPR, and For Harriet, among other publications. Originally from Lowell, Massachusetts, Obehi splits time between Brooklyn and Los Angeles, where she is currently a staff writer on HULU's Castle Rock. She recently joined The Kilroys, an advocacy group for gender parity in the theatre.

CAITLIN SULLIVAN is a New York-based director, theater maker and creator of new work. Recent credits include MADONNA col BAMBINO (created with Sarah Einspanier/Deepali Gupta; New Georges, Ars Nova, New Ohio), Sacha Yanow’s Cherie Dre (Danspace Project), Mary Hamilton’s 16 Winters (Ars Nova) and Claire Kiechel’s The Haunted (City Theater). Other recent associations include New York Theatre Workshop, LCT3, The Public Theater and La Jolla Playhouse. She is the Associate Director of The Lucky Ones and Hundred Days (dir. Anne Kauffman). Caitlin co-founded Seattle’s critically acclaimed Satori Group, where she directed seven collaboratively created, original works. As Artistic Director of the Williams College Summer Theatre Lab, she developed new plays by Martyna Majok, The Bengsons, Dipika Guha, Mallery Avidon and Caroline McGraw. Born and raised in Boston (Dorchester), Massachusetts, Caitlin is a graduate of Williams College, an alum of the Drama League Directors Project and Next Stage Artist Residency and a New Georges Affiliate Artist.

LILY PADILLA makes plays about sex, intersectional communities and what it means to heal in a violent world. Their play, How to Defend Yourself will be produced in the 2019 Humana Festival and at Victory Gardens Theatre in 2020. Padilla’s work has been developed with the Oregon Shakespeare Festival, Ojai Playwrights Conference, Victory Gardens, INTAR Theatre and San Diego REP. Padilla facilitates playwriting workshops with the La Jolla Playhouse/TCG Veterans & Theatre Institute and teaches playwriting and devised theatre at USD and UCSD. MFA, UC San Diego, BFA NYU Tisch. They’re currently under commission from Colt Coeur. Padilla is also a director, actor and community builder who looks at rehearsal as a laboratory for how we might be together. www.lilypadilla.com

ORION S. JOHNSTONE is a queer non-binary human/theater maker/organizer/sex educator/facilitator ferociously dedicated to our collective liberation and to the idea that how we make is as important as what we make. Recent theater credits include: Co-director of Diana Oh’s {my lingerie play}: the Concert and Call to Arms!!!!!!!!! (Rattlestick), Composer/MD for Light Shining In Buckinghamshire (NYTW), music supervisor/co-captain (along with director Rachel Chavkin and MD Nehemiah Luckett) of the TEAM’s Primer for a Failed Superpower. They studied musical theater at NYU (Tisch) and justice ministries at Auburn Seminary, and they were a 2018 Directing Fellow in TransLab at the Public/WP. www.orionjohnstone.com

SYLVIA KHOURY is a New York-born writer of French and Lebanese descent. Her plays include Selling Kabul (2018 L.Arnold Weissberger Award and Jay Harris Commission from Williamstown Theater Festival, Citation of Excellence from Laurents/Hatcher Award, 2017 Kilroys List, Noor Theater Highlight Reading Series, La Jolla Playhouse DNA Reading Series), Against The Hillside (Ensemble Studio Theater premiere, Lark Playwrights' Week, Eugene O'Neill Playwrights' Conference, 2016 Kilroys List, Roundabout Theater Underground Reading Series, NNPN National Showcase of New Plays), and Powerstrip (Playwrights Horizons Reading, Women’s Project Workshop). She is a member of the 2016-2018 Womens' Project Lab, EST/Youngblood, and a 2015-2016 Dramatists' Guild Fellow. She holds a BA in Middle Eastern, South Asian and African Studies from Columbia University and an MFA in Playwriting from the New School for Drama. She is currently a third-year student at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai planning to specialize in Psychiatry.

MAGGIE BURROWS is a theater and film director living in New York City. She has developed worked with Playwrights Horizons, NYTW, Williamstown Theatre Festival, EST, The Tank, and The Geffen in Los Angeles. She received her BA from Yale University where she was a nominee for the Sudler Prize for Excellence in the Arts. Maggie has served as an Associate Director for Bartlett Sher, Phyllida Lloyd, Dan Sullivan, James Bundy, Davis McCallum and Daniel Aukin. She is a member of the Lincoln Center Directors Lab, the inaugural 2018-2019 BOLD Resident Director at Northern Stage and the recipient of the 2018 Boris Sagal Directing Fellowship at Williamstown Theatre Festival. Most recently, Maggie curated a female director-driven reading series called PUBLICREADS, completed her first narrative short film titled Condolences and directed a GOTV video for Michelle Obama's When We All Vote Organization.

COLT COEUR is a Brooklyn-based theater company founded in 2010. We contemplate questions that inspire us and devise theater pieces that respond to and engage with the world in which we live. We address the ambivalence, terror and exhilaration of our age on the scale of person-to-person through theater that utilizes a simplicity of means to achieve richness of expression. Our original, story-driven, visceral theater straddles the line between mainstream and experimental, elevates design while valuing strong storytelling, and pulls you close and doesn't let go.

Artistic Director Adrienne Campbell-Holt leads a 16-member ensemble of actors, playwrights and designers to nurture the next generation of theater artists through the development and production of new plays and by providing arts education to students from underserved NYC public schools. Over 8 years, Colt Coeur has produced 9 world premieres; developed 36 plays; and provided free arts education for over 120 students. All 9 of Colt Coeur’s world premieres explored themes of resonance to our times while ranging in subject matter from teen pregnancy, to postpartum depression and the struggle to make ends meet for a working-class family, to the underlying appetite for new frontiers that is manifest in applicants looking to travel on a one-way mission to Mars. All of the productions received rave reviews and have gone on to publication and/or subsequent national and international productions. Steven Levenson's Seven Minutes In Heaven was selected by Ars Nova for Antfest and subsequently transferred to the Emerging America Festival in Boston before running for 3 weeks at HERE. Lucas Kavner's Fish Eye ran for 3 weeks at HERE and was included in NY Magazine's "Best of 2011" list. Eliza Clark's Recall had a 4-week run at the Wild Project and also received rave reviews. Nikole Beckwith's satire Everything Is Ours ran for 4 weeks in 2013 at HERE and extended due to demand. Ruby Spiegel's Dry Land made NYPost's Top 10 of 2014 list. How To Live On Earth by MJ Kaufman was mentioned on “The Last Word with Lawrence O’Donnell.” William Francis Hoffman’s Cal In Camo was co-produced with Rattlestick Theatre, and was named a Time Out NY Critic’s Pick. Empathitrax by Ana Nogueira played to critical acclaim at HERE Arts Center and is now being developed as a feature film, and most recently Zürich by Amelia Roper received rave reviews at New York Theater Workshop’s inaugural Next Door Series. The company’s 10th world premiere, Joan, by Stephen Belber, stars Johanna Day and runs January 19-February 16 at HERE in SoHo. All of Colt Coeur’s premieres were directed by Adrienne Campbell-Holt.

WP THEATER (Lisa McNulty, Producing Artistic Director; Michael Sag, Managing Director) now in its 40th Season, is the nation’s oldest and largest theater company dedicated to developing, producing and promoting the work of women at every stage in their careers. For nearly four decades we have served as leaders at the forefront of a global movement towards gender parity, and the example we set and the artists we have fostered have grown into a robust and thriving community of artists in theater and beyond. WP empowers female-identified and gender nonconforming artists to reach their full potential and, in doing so, challenges preconceptions about the kinds of plays women write and the stories they tell. As the premiere launching pad for some of the most influential female theater artists today, our work has had a significant impact on the field at large. Nearly every prolific female theater artist has been through our doors, including Eve Ensler, María Irene Fornés, Katori Hall, Pam MacKinnon, Lynn Nottage, Leigh Silverman and Anna Deavere Smith. These powerful women found an early artistic home at WP and are a testament to our role as a driving cultural force. WP was founded in 1978 by visionary producer, Julia Miles, to address the significant under-representation of women in theater. Today, WP accomplishes its mission through several fundamental programs, including: the WP Lab, a two-year mentorship and new play development program for women playwrights, directors, and producers; the Domestic Partner residency program; the Developmental series; and the Mainstage series, which features a full season of Off-Broadway productions written and directed by extraordinary theater artists.

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